Spam / Featured Blogs

Measuring Abuse: How Much COVID-Related Abuse Is There, Really?

Like measuring COVID's impact, so too measuring the impact of COVID-related abuse on the Internet is difficult, there are those that would foolishly dismiss the danger entirely, others over-state the problem, perhaps to prompt sales of tools and services. The amount and type of abuse varies from network to network, and to declare everything is fine based on one world-view you believe to be ubiquitous, or that the sky is falling based upon another, extrapolated to 'everybody else' is simply poor analysis. more

Political Email Placement or, You're Not Special

A recent piece in The Markup called Swinging the Vote? attempts to figure out how Google decides where to deliver political e-mail. They were startled to discover that only a small fraction of it was delivered into the main inbox, and a fair amount was classed as spam. They shouldn't have been. This is an example of the fallacy We're so nice that the rules don't apply to us, which is far too common among non-profit and political mailers. more

RIP Don Blumenthal

It is with a heavy heart that we note the passing of a dear friend, colleague and member of the CAUCE board of directors, Don Blumenthal, on September 28, 2019, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 67. Don was an anti-spammer for as long a there was an anti-spam community: he helped design, deploy and maintain the famous 'Spam Fridge,' the repository of junk email maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). more

Spam Is Never Timely Nor Relevant

One of the ongoing recommendations to improve deliverability is to send email that is timely and relevant to the recipient. The idea being that if you send mail a recipient wants, they're more likely to interact with it in a way that signals to the mailbox provider that the message is wanted. The baseline for that, at least whenever I've talked about timely and relevant, is that the recipient asked for mail from you in the first place. more

Call Spoofing: Congress Calls on FCC, Russia and China Answer

It is both amusing and dismaying. Last year, Congress passed Ray Baum's Act telling the FCC to do something about those pesky incoming foreign SPAM calls and texts with the fake callerIDs. The FCC a couple of weeks ago responded with a chest thumping Report and Order claiming it has "extraterritorial jurisdiction" that is does not have, and promising it will do something. Don't hold your breath on that one. more

Spamtraps Are Overblown… by Senders

One of the fascinating parts of my job is seeing how different groups in email have radically disparate points of view. A current example is how much value senders put on spamtraps compared to ISPs and filtering companies. I understand why this is. In all too many cases, when a sender asks why they're mail is going to bulk or being blocked, the answer is "you're hitting spamtraps." The thing is, spamtraps are almost never the only reason mail is being blocked. more

How to Track Online Malevolent Identities in the Act

Want to be a cybersleuth and track down hackers? It may sound ambitious considering that malevolent entities are extremely clever, and tracing them requires certain skills that may not be easy to build for the typical computer user. But then again, the best defense is offense. And learning the basics of sniffing out cybercriminals may not only be necessary nowadays, it has become essential for survival on the Web. So where can you begin? more

My Domain Reputation Is Bad, Should I Get a New Domain?

Many companies have the occasional "oops" where they send email they probably shouldn't have. This can often cause a decrease in reputation and subsequent delivery problems. Some companies rush to fix things by changing domains. Brand new domains, those registered less than 30 days, have really bad reputations. Blame the spammers and scammers who exploited a loophole and sent tons of untraceable spam from newly registered domains that they then abandoned without paying for them. more

GDPR Didn't Affect Spam? Not So Fast

I have recently become aware of a blog post from Recorded Future that attempts to analyze the effects of the GDPR on online security. Unfortunately, it starts by asking an irrelevant question and then goes on to use irrelevant metrics to come to a meaningless answer. The premise of Recorded Future's article - that spammers would send more spam and register more domains because GDPR came into effect - tells us nothing useful about how GDPR affects anything. It's the wrong question... more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more